Hurricane Gustav – A standard disaster in the making

To revisit all of the work done by our former editor Paul, a New Orleans resident, who detailed the failures and follies that lead to the man-made destruction of the city during Hurricane Katrina, would be to open can of worms I don’t want to revisit tonight. Suffice it to say that man (specifically the Army Corp of Engineers) failed New Orleans with levees that had key failures at storm levels the were supposedly built to handle.

There is debate as to how well the levee system that has been under construction ever since will protect New Orleans, the system is scheduled to be complete until sometime in the next decade. The Corp says 220 miles of levees have been rebuilt, but it only takes a few key failures to turn certain parishes into bowls of soup.

The good news (or so it appears at this moment) is that the levee system may not face a direct hit test on Monday. There will certainly be surge and maybe over-topping, but barring another total collapses of a critical levee, the city might ride out the next 48 hours with just standard hurricane flooding and damage.

To the east of New Orleans small towns like Houma stand a very good chance of being wiped off the map tomorrow. This should come as no surprise to them as LSU scientists had been making presentations to all of these towns showing what would have happened to them if Hurricane Rita had landed in their area. The results weren’t pretty. You can actually go see the presentations here.

Right now that appears to be exactly what is going to happen tomorrow. Anyone crazy enough not to have evacuated from those areas stands a very good chance of being either totally stranded or dead by this time tomorrow. Depending on what happens in New Orleans you may or may not even hear about the devastation in these parishes as the fixation on New Orleans has already paralyzed the media and you won’t be able to reach any of these parishes except by air.

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